Sunday, March 2, 2008

Blissful Ignorance Effect

It’s no surprise that people seek information about products and services before making a purchase. What is surprising is that the less information people acquire, the more likely they are to be happy with their purchase. Researchers at the University of Iowa call this the Blissful Ignorance Effect. They found that people who have only a little information about a product are happier with that product than people who have more information. Prior research has shown that before people make a buying decision, they generally like to take an objective, clear-headed view of the products they're considering. During this phase, so-called accuracy goals play a larger part because they want to buy the product that best meets their needs at a reasonable cost. New research, however, shows that once a decision has been made, the Blissful Ignorance Effect takes hold and the buyer makes an emotional commitment to the decision. That’s the key lesson in this story. Customers have an innate desire to feel good about their purchase. So, as marketers we should spend at least as much time and energy living up to or surpassing their expectations AFTER they make a purchase. This is a key concept in word of mouth marketing. People want to feel good about their purchases and when they do, they will tell their friends. Of course, the opposite is true. If we let our customers down, we have broken an emotional bond and they will surely tell anyone who will listen.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.